A Liz Truss government would be resolutely pro-growth

The writer is British business secretary

We face extraordinary challenges in the aftermath of Covid and Vladimir Putin’s brutal assault on Ukraine. Families and businesses are feeling the impact across the UK and the world. In response, we must be bold. That’s what Liz Truss will be if elected leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

The government she would lead would have two pressing responsibilities. First, to help people cope with the severe price shocks that the twin problems of the pandemic and Putin’s war have caused. We know that households are worried and that decisive action is needed to help families and businesses get through this winter and the next. They need certainty.

Second, the new administration will look longer term and take responsibility for the lasting health and wealth of our economy and our country. Work must be done now to make us more resilient to crises like this in the future and to stimulate the growth rates that will improve living standards for all.

As Prime Minister, Liz will take immediate action if elected that will help people address the challenges we face in the months ahead and lay the foundations for the change we need for the long term. It means lowering taxes, putting money back in people’s pockets and freeing our businesses from heavy taxes and misguided regulations.

Given the severity of the crisis we are facing, fiscal easing will be needed to help people get through the winter. It is absolutely the right thing to do in these exceptionally difficult times.

The UK’s debt-to-gross domestic product ratio is lower than any other G7 country except Germany, so we don’t need excessive fiscal tightening. The OECD has stated that current government policy is restrictive which will only send us into a negative spiral when the aim should be to do the opposite. But I want to reassure that this will be done in a financially responsible way. Liz is committed to a lean state, and as the immediate shock subsides, we will strive to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio over time.

We also remain fully committed to the independence of the Bank of England and the important work it needs to do in the months ahead to bring inflation down. We believe that coordination between monetary policy and fiscal policy is crucial.

Economic growth is the key to sound public finances and a strong economy. Liz is clear that we need to be shamelessly pro-growth. That is why we will create the conditions for business investment and innovation, which in turn will create jobs and wealth for all our citizens and reduce our long-term debt-to-GDP ratio.

If we want sustainable public services and a better, more prosperous future for our children, economic growth is essential. It creates the tax revenue that a government relies on to support its people. Without doing anything about our growth rate, our resources will only dwindle more and more.

We don’t have to appease the voices of decline. The same old economic managerialism has left us with a stagnant economy and anemic growth, with labor productivity growing only 0.4% a year since the financial crisis. Taxes are now at their highest level in 70 years. This toxic combination needs to be treated urgently.

We have to be decisive and do things differently. That’s what Liz is planning. Instead of dealing with one short-term shock after another, dodging or delaying the tough reforms needed for sustained economic growth, as prime minister she will take bold steps to turn things around for good.

It means focusing on how we unleash investment and growth, rather than how we tax and spend. It is about increasing the size of the UK economy, not about plunging us into a redistributive struggle for what is left.

Economic growth is the key to empowering the British people and opening up opportunities across the country. And that will be Liz’s top priority. It will aim to take us to 2.5% trend growth, which will provide higher wages, more vibrant shopping streets and exciting opportunities here in the UK for our children and grandchildren. And ultimately, higher tax revenues.

It is the only truly sustainable way to get the kind of tax base needed to fund our public services, including the NHS in the long term.

Predictions are not fate. The coming months will be difficult, there is no doubt. But a Truss government has the right plan to guide our country through the storm and improve our long-term prospects, responsibly. It will reject the failure of consensus and offer opportunity, prosperity and hope for the future to put the UK’s best days ahead of us.

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